The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly




John Hoole – March 28, 2010




To begin our lesson today, let’s read Ephesians 6:10-12.


Ephesians 6:10-12 NKJV


10     Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

11     Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12     For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.



The Scriptures speak repeatedly of good and bad angels moving about unseen.  But they are also shown as interacting at times with people, even to the point of evil spirits actually possessing people.  That means they live inside a person and control them.


Good angels also appear on occasion to people as well.  The four Gospels and the book of Acts are filled with many incidents of demon possession and of good angels appearing and aiding believers.  Angels, both good and bad, can cause unusual natural and supernatural phenomenon to occur.  I have mentioned several times during our series on Spiritual Warfare there is a battle that almost continuously is going on unseen by us.  The Bible contains solid information about both these bright and dark beings.


Stories of real angels are always fascinating.  But today I want to address the good, the bad and the ugly about angels.




These are counterfeiting the true angels of God, and as a result, many people are being deceived.


The Bible speaks of angels more that 300 times.  Their activity seems to increase during the last days.  Angels are mentioned in the book of Revelation, alone, 86 times.  That’s more than 25% of all references about angels in the Bible.


Good Angels


Before we get to the those which counterfeit and mimic the true angels of God, let look at the good angels.


Hebrews 1:14  (NIV)


14     Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?


Angels minister in many ways to us, and I’d like to look at some of their ministries.




A      They bring provisions to people


The Lord has used, and continues to use, his angels to physically provide for His own.  It was an angel who brought Elijah bread and water while fleeing from Jezebel after his victory on Mt. Carmel  [1 Kings 19:5-6].


Here is a true story that has been around for some time.  In 1944, the penniless wife of a pastor and evangelist in Switzerland, Susie Ware prayed, “God, I need five pounds of potatoes, two pounds of pastry flour, apples, pears, a cauliflower, carrots, veal cutlets for Saturday, and beef for Sunday.”  A few hours later, someone knocked on the door, and there was a young man with a basket, who said, “Mrs. Ware, I am bringing what you asked for.”  It was precisely what she’d prayed for – down to the exact brand of pastry flour she wanted.  Pastor and Mrs. Ware watched as the young man slipped away, but he never exited the room – he just disappeared.


B.      Guidance


Sometimes, angels give guidance so God’s people will know what He wants us to do.  For instance, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, instructing him to take Mary as his wife and to name her baby Jesus (Matthew 1:20-21).  And it was an angel who told Philip where to go in his travels so that he could meet the Ethiopian Eunuch and lead him to Christ (Acts 8:26).


C.     Encouragement


Angelic ministry to us can include powerful encouragement.  When Paul and his shipmates were caught in a horrible storm and faced shipwreck, and angel appeared to him, assured him that not a life would be lost, and that he would live to stand trial before Caesar (Acts 27:23).


D.     Protection


This world is a dangerous place at times, and God’s angels can provide supernatural protection.  Daniel 6 tells the story of how an angel shut the mouths of the lions when he was thrown into their den.  A young lady named Myra worked in the inner-city ministry of Teen Challenge in Philadelphia.  One neighborhood gang liked to terrorize anyone who tried to enter the Teen Challenge building, and they harassed Myra as well.  One night, when she was alone in the building with the gang banging on the door, she felt she should continue to try to reach out to them with the gospel of Jesus.  As she opened the door, she breathed a prayer for protection.


The boys suddenly stopped their shouting, looked at each other, turned and left quietly.  Myra had no idea why.  Later on, as the staff people were able to build relationships with the gang members, the ministry director asked them why they dropped their threats against Myra, leaving her alone that night.


One young man spoke up, saying, “We wouldn’t dare touch her after her boyfriend showed up.  That dude had to be 7 feet tall.”  The director said, “I didn’t know Myra had a boyfriend.”  “But”, the director said, “I know Myra was alone that particular night.”  Another gang member insisted, “No, we saw him.  And he was right behind her, big as life in his classy white suit.”


E.      Rescue


Sometimes, angels rescue people in danger.  It was an angel – probably it was The angel of the Lord – which is none other than Jesus Himself, who joined Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace, rescuing them from the flames (Daniel 3).


The ministry of angels captures the imagination in a special way.  The prophet Elisha prayed that the Lord would open the eyes of his servant, so he could see the mighty angelic army of God protecting them.


In Nazi Germany, one mother took her little boy, who was unchurched, to a shelter run by nuns that had become known as a safe place, because nothing bad ever seemed to happen there.  His first night, while everyone else was praying that God would protect them, this little boy kept his eyes open.  After the “amen,” he told his mother, “It came up to here on them!” and pointed to his breastbone.”  When asked what he meant, he said, “The gutter came up to here on them!”  A nurse asked, “what are you talking about?”  He tells her that he saw men filled with light guarding each corner of the shelter, so tall that they towered above the roof.  The shelter was protected by huge warrior angels that only a little boy could see.


Guardian angels






It may surprise you that the Bible does not give a definitive answer on this subject.  We do know, however, that our Lord said, in Matthew 18:10


“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones.  For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”


And Psalm 91:11 promises,


         “For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”


I have relayed to you only a few of the thousands of stories that are documented about angels who protected and rescued people, both Christians and non-Christians.  But a nagging question continues to arise: Where are the angels when ladies are raped, and drunk drivers crash headlong into a car of teenagers, and evil people blow up buildings with hundreds of innocent people in them?


The angels are still there, continuing to minister in pain and death.  We usually don’t realize the role of angels in the midst of horrible circumstances, because their work is usually unseen and often unfelt.


Behind the question of “Where are the angels?” is the very difficult problem of why a good God would allow pain and suffering.  While that is a subject that can and should be addressed – and I believe the Bible does – it is not the prime topic for today.  However, let me make a couple of points here.  The book of Job gives us two important insights into the problem of pain and suffering.


First, when disasters and suffering assail us in the physical realm, there may be something bigger and more important going on in the unseen spiritual realm.


Second, God never gives Job an answer to his demand to know the “Why?”.  He just says, “I am the sovereign Lord, acting in ways you cannot understand.  You just need to trust Me, that I know what I’m doing.”  The fact that God is in control – that he allows difficulties to come into our lives for a purpose, is something we need to keep in mind when it seems like the angels have forsaken us.  They haven’t because God hasn’t.


The Bad Angels


There are good angels and there are also bad angels.  All of them were created originally as holy angels, but about one-third of them rebelled against God and fell from their sinless position.


Satan, the leader of these demons or unholy angels, is a liar, a murderer, and a thief (John 10:10).  He hates God and His people passionately.  The Bible tells us he prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour         (1 Peter 5:8)We need to remember that Satan and all his demons are supernaturally brilliant, and Satan disguises himself as an angel of light  (2 Cor. 11:14).


The Scriptures repeatedly show that demons know things of which the people around them are apparently unaware (Luke 4:41).  And because these evil (bad) angels have been around a long time, they would know facts that those living limited life spans would not.  Because Satan has access to the throne of God today (Job 1:6; 2:1), his demons may also be allowed to know some specific events we do not know.  But that may be mere speculation.


Satan and his demons have great power compared to humans.  This is true even to the point where Michael the archangel trust only in God’s power when dealing with Satan himself (Jude 1:9).  But Satan’s power is nothing compared to God’s.  And God is actually able to use Satan’s evil intent to bring about His good purposes.


The Ugly Angels


The enemy of our souls is using a new twist on an old lie.  Satan is not just the father of lies and a deceiver (John 8:44; 2 Thessalonians 2:9), he can also disguise himself as an angel of light.  Likewise, those who follow him, whether human or otherwise, can do the same (2 Cor. 11:13-15).  He is exploiting the current interest in angels to attract the untaught and the undiscerning.


Much of the current angel mania is simply New Age philosophy, which is actually old-fashioned pantheism.  Pantheism is the belief that everything – including an impersonal God, as well as every part of the creation – is one big unity.  In other words, all is one, God is one, we are God – and New Age philosophy throws reincarnation into the mix as well.


You know you are around “ugly angels,” or demons masquerading as angels of light and holiness, when you see or hear these terms.







A.     Contacting or communing with angels.


Beginning in the 1990’s, there emerged a great fascination with angels.  Angels became one of the hottest topics of conversation around.  There has been a plethora of best-selling books testifying to the fact that our culture seems to infatuated with angels.  There are now books available with titles like “Ask Your Angel” and “100 Ways to Attract Angels.”  The Bible gives neither permission nor precedence for contacting angels.


As we read earlier in Hebrews 1:14, God’s angels are messengers of God sent to minister to the believer.   As such, they may contact us, but they don’t answer to our call.  They do not take orders from you and me.  They are dispatch only at the command of God.


When people start calling on angels, it is not the holy angels who answer.  They are demons, disguising themselves as good angels to people who don’t know how to tell the difference.


B.      Loving our angels, praying to our angels.


Some self-styled “angel experts” instruct their followers to love their angels and call upon them for health, healing, prosperity, and guidance.  But angels are God’s servants, and all this attention and emphasis and glory should go to God, not His servants.  God says, “I will not share my glory with another”  (Isaiah 42:8)


The Bible makes no mention of loving angels – only God, His Word and people.  And it never tells us to pray to angels, only to the Lord Himself.  In the Book of Revelation, John was so awed by the revelation he had received from God through an angel, that he bowed down to worship the angel.


Notice what Revelation 19:9-10  (NIV)  says.


9       Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" And he added, "These are the true words of God."

10     At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God!….


If you try to worship God’s angels, they will stop you and always turn your attention to God.  Angels are powerful and awesome in many ways, but, like us, they are only creatures and servants of the living God.  This means that we are not to pray to them or trust in them, even though God may use them as our guardian.  The Bible very pointedly says, our trust is to be in God, not angels.  They minister at His bidding.


Revelation 22:8-9  (NIV)


8       I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me.

9       But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!"


C.     Asking for instruction, knowledge, or insight from angels, particularly ones with names.


Some teachers on angels are proclaiming that angels are trying very hard to contact us, so they can give us deeper knowledge of spiritual things.  Invariably, this “angel knowledge” is a mixture of truth and lies, and never stands up to the light of the absolute truth of Scripture.


There are four angel names that keep popping up in the angel literature: Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael.  Michael and Gabriel, of course,  are the only angels mentioned by name in the Bible.  The other two show up in the apocryphal book, titled, “The First Book of Enoch,” which includes a fanciful account of the actions of these four beings.  Those who report modern day angel teachings are often actually channeling information from demons.


In reality, ultimate perfection and enlightenment can only be granted by God, and will be given only to those who come to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Here are some biblical passages that point to “New Age” instruction in the last days, describing those who accept pseudo-truths and who teach them to others.


1 Timothy 4:1-2 NKJV


1       Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,

2       speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,


1 Timothy 6:20-21 NKJV


20     O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge — 

21     by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.


1 Timothy 6:20-21 NIV


20     …Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge,

21     which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.


D.     Special, secret knowledge or teachings from angels.


Naomi Albright, a published New-Ager, distributes teaching about the deep meanings of colors, and numbers and letters of the alphabet which she claims is “knowledge given from above and brought forth in more detail by the High Angelic Master Sheate, Lady Master Cassandra, and Angel Carpelpous, and the Master Angel, One on High”  These same beings told Mrs. Albright to stress two main teachings: First, that God accepts all religions, and second, Reincarnation.  These two teachings keep showing up in much of the New Age Angel literature, which shouldn’t really surprise us, since they are heretical lies that come from the pit of hell, which is where these angels are from.


Other angel teachings are that all is a part of God (pantheism).  The learner is set apart from others by the “deep” knowledge that the angels give.  “Special knowledge” is, and has always been, a draw and attraction into the occult.  Those who are teaching of gaining special revelation from angels, will, ultimately, teach that if you really pursue contacting angels, you will be visited by an Ascended Master or a Shining Angel.


According to 2 Peter 1:3, God has already revealed to us everything we need for life and godliness, so any so-called “hidden knowledge” that spirit beings try to impart is by nature occultic and demonic


E.      Human divinity


The message of the ugly angels is that we need to recognize that we are one with the divine.  In fact, we are divine – we are God.


In Karen Goldman’s book, titled: The Angel Book: A Handbook for Aspiring Angels, she says things like: “Angels don’t fall out of the sky: they emerge from within.”  and, “the whole purpose in life is to know your Angel Self, accept it and be it.  In this way we finally experience true oneness.”


The following bit of heretical garbage was channeled from a demon posing as an angel named Daephenocles:


The wondrous light of the Angels, from the elohim to the Archangels to the Devas and Nature Spirits, are all bringing to you the realization that you are magnificent – you are divine now and divine first.”


Much of the angel literature refers to “the angel within.”  But, according to the Bible, angels are a separate part of the creation.  The were created before man as a different kind.  They are not within us.  Nor do good people, especially little children, become angels when they die.  We remain human beings – not angels – and certainly not God.


Everywhere we find angels mentioned in the Bible, the reference to the angels is incidental to some other issue.  They are never the primary subject of the Passage.  When angels are mentioned, it is always in order to inform us further about God, what He does, and how He does it.


Colossians 2:16-18  (NIV)


16     Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

17     These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

18     Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions.


What we need, as far as a response to the angel craze, is strong discernment built on the foundation of God’s Word.  We need to remember, and share with others, three truths about angels.


Lest I be taken wrong, let me hasten to say: There is nothing wrong with enjoying angel figurines on your coffee table, or paintings of angels on your walls.  There is nothing wrong with that, unless they become an icon that somehow replaces our dependence upon God’s Word, and the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.


It is very true that many have “entertained angels unawares.”  (Hebrews 13:2).  But we need to make sure we are entertaining the right kind of angels.  This increased activity and interest in angels is not some kind of spiritual awakening.  Rather, it is a sign of the spiritual confusion which has afflicted our “if-it-feels-good-do-it” society.




Satan’s goal is to counterfeit the things of God, and then through deception, pervert the conscience of men and women to such an extent that they embrace his lie, while all along thinking it is God’s truth.


While raw Satanism is exploding throughout the world, most people are still repelled by it.  Satan is more seductive and convincing when he masquerades as God.  Evil is far more acceptable and effective when it is packages of good.


Ephesians 6:12 tells us that our spiritual struggle is “not against flesh and blood,” but, rather, “against rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places”


We operate in an arena in which we are virtually blind to all that is taking place around us especially when it involves the unseen spiritual forces of the demonic realm.  And whether we like to admit it or not, we are greatly influenced by that world – for good or evil.


God, however, is a loving God, and He has not left us in the dark.  2 Corinthians 2:11 tells us we are “not ignorant of Satan’s devices.”


So how do we keep from being deceived?  How do we know that a spoken sermon, or a lesson, is in fact of God?  How do we know when an act accomplished by a person – even an act which seems miraculous – has godly or satanic powers behind it.  Satan is an extremely clever counterfeiter of the things of God.




The very fact that Christ, in the Sermon on the Mount, warned us about false prophets, should make us realize that followers of Christ are not exempt from Satan’s deceptions.  We need to keep in mind that if two people, who had no sin nature and who enjoyed an incredibly close relationship with God were deceived by satanic devices, we who do not possess those luxuries and certainly susceptible.